Friday, February 28, 2014

SMCM Makes Headlines with Salary Cap Proposal

The past few years (and let us not forget the sit-ins circa 2006) many students and faculty have fought for a "living wage," a wage that someone can actually live on. Even in St. Mary's County, where the cost of living is relatively low, it's incredibly difficult to get by on minimum wage. The proposal, as outlined on their website, is to raise minimum salary above the federal poverty level for a family of four. This comes to about $30,000, which is significantly higher than the current minimum of $24,500 for college staff members.

Recently the 10:1 ratio proposal has made the headlines all across the nation, from the Washington Post to dozens of small college newspapers that are considerably better than The Point News. At our current minimum of $24,500 salary for staff members, this would place the president's salary at $245,000 ($80,000 less than the current salary). Currently the SMCM presidential salary is well below the average for college presidents, but of course SMCM is a small, public college, so that makes sense.

Hey yall keep in mind the only reason the current presidential salary is so high is because Maggie wanted to leave circa 2009, but the college couldn't find a good replacement so they upped her salary to make her stay and extra year before Urgo came on board~
And then they never lowered the salary back down to a reasonable rate. Check out the records in the library for more info~
 However about a week ago the proposal was defeated by the Faculty Senate 9-8. The meetings are closed, and even the SGA VP, who sits in on the meetings, was definitely asked to leave when discussion of this hot topic issue came up.

We do not know for sure why the proposal was defeated by the Faculty Senate. The proposals may have had some impact on faculty salary as well (???) or maybe they just do not want change? My inclination is that there are probably a few aspects of the proposal that did not sit well with the faculty (where can we see the proposal they voted on ???) but overall they may have been in favor of the idea. Having sat in on these meetings, they are definitely very interesting. I do not even know how to describe the meetings properly, but sitting in a room with two dozen highly intelligent and successful people is not only intimidating, but gives you the sense that they must
a. know what they are doing
b. have some House of Cards level backdealing going on
c. hopefully have the best interests of the college at heart

I hope to see the proposal passed in some form within the next year.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

PANIC: SGA President Hates Government Transparency

Recently, Dear Readers, the preeminent SMCM blog has resumed liveblogging the SGA meetings, but now via twitter @SMCMLOL (previously the last liveblogged meeting was in 2012, and the first was in 2008).

But it seems that the current president (hey lets do a quick history lesson of SGA presidents: 07 - keith buzby, 08 - sunny, 09 - justin perry, 10 - ken benjes, 11 - mark snyder, 12 - ???, 13 - katherine brennan) is not fond of these live tweets. She recently sent an email out to the SGA body regarding her views.

Hello all!

I just wanted to remind you guys of a couple things for SGA, it's just basic stuff to keep in mind. 

Just remember to be respectful in Senate and be paying attention and if we could keep side chatter to a minimum that would be awesome.  Last night there was way too much of that and it leads to time being wasted.  
Next thing is about social media, you're in Senate for a reason so if you don't want to be in it don't be wasting your own time on Facebook.  Also whoever is in charge of the SMCMLOL twitter could you please just stop that would be great.  
We only have a couple more months so lets just hang in there.  

Thanks everybody! If you guys have questions about things just let me know. 

  • "Side Chatter" what r u, a teacher ???
  • The only "time wasted," is the time you ain't wasted (Proverbs 27:17)
  • "could you please just stop that would be great" 
could you please just stop that would be great
could you please just stop
please just stop
just stop

Kate doesn't give a reason to stop. Why does Kate want the live tweeting to stop? Does she not want the student body to know what is going on? Does she not want 507 followers to know what is going on in the Senate? Does she hate government transparency? Is she literally a fascist ???

I mean I can see how it could be a "distraction" but w/e that's the nature of SGA at a small school. I once dated a girl who was the secretary of the UMD SGA. They had political parties, everyone had BlackBerrys, and it was very serious. There was no room for bills banning emails with all capital letter subjects.The SMCM SGA accomplishes a lot. Club funding, gender neutral housing, geothermal heating for the new river center, service trips to Nicaragua, and many other things. Live tweets take the SGA away from something that a student may visit and think of once in their entire career into something that they can connect to, become interested in, and ultimately gain some understanding of. Weekly constituent emails aren't enough (if they even get sent out).

Information is never the enemy. And any liberal arts student should realize that.

These technologies can make life easier, can let us touch people we might not otherwise. These things can profoundly influence life. I'm not downplaying that.  -- Steve Jobs

Saturday, February 22, 2014

SGA Meeting 2/18

These days we cover the SGA meetings a little differently. We are evolving, staying hip, staying 'funky fresh', avoiding staleness (via bread in the great room).

We have discovered the preferred social media platform of the youths, of the urban crowd, of the geeks and nerds of the world.


(which we have had since 2009 #relevant)

But yes these days you can find LIVE UPDATES of the SGA meetings on twitter


#jointheconversation and tell your senators how you feel and what to do

below is a lazy transcript of the last meeting

Friday, February 21, 2014

Head of Public Safety Tallarico is Gone

He packed his stuff up today apparently???

Does this mean we can break all the rules now???

St. Mary's College of Weed 420 Blaze it

Wow only been a year

I've had bans from campus that lasted longer #banned

Gonna miss u seanbaby

Wonder what happened

Did he bone a student?

Theory: Tallarico supplied the lax and baseball teams with the cocaine #narp


Sunday, February 16, 2014

No Alcohol at Graduation

2011 was a great comencememt

I gradauted

I shook hands with a prez

I walked out with my classmates of four years

I was handed 8 beers

I drank those beers and hugged my professors, my mentors, the people that made me who I am

And then the beer was banned

I really never want to donate again

Drinking beer is not a sign of disrespect. Show me an event that lacks alcohol. The Madrigals dinner honors donors, and there is alcohol. Alumni weekend and Hawktoberfest honor alumni, and there is alcohol. Am I missing something?

Frozen Bike

Poor bike

Poor poor mountain bike

Came through the campus full of fixies, roadies, and hybrids

He just didn't fit in

The other bikes wanted to pond him, bully him

But they didn't want him to freeze to death


Poor out a bottle of bike lubricant in memoriam

S/o 2 IKlompus 4 the photo

Thursday, February 6, 2014

A Good (president) is Hard to Find

The Sound and the Fury by Faulkner is my favorite book. This is probably the reason I got to spend a lot of time with our infamous former president, Joseph "Jurgo" Urgo. I think its important for the St. Mary's community to reflect on why Joseph Urgo is no longer president of St. Marys, and what the elite forces who have facilitated the search and who will help (and inevitably) make the final choice should take into consideration.

The president is the face and voice of a school. Jurgo's face was fine... it was the lack of excitement in his voice that disappointed me. SMCM deserves a president who is an expert orator, or at least someone who can feign passion while representing our school. Compare a speech by Jurgo to a speech by the president of UMBC ( In a world that judges from the top down, our president needs to be able to effectively make arguments for the benefit of our campus and inspire a student body, arduous tasks that I believe are outside of Jurgo's skill set.

Jurgo, like Obama, did not come into a perfect situation. However, he made one call that I still can't figure out. Rich Edgar was one of the best Admissions directors I have ever met would be the ideal president for the school. He is the reason I, and many others, choose a small rural school. He sold his argument. He embodied SMCM's spirit. Rich... if your reading this right now, I beg you: hint at the idea that you would resume a role as an administrator at SMCM once again. The entire student body would have your back, and you could return to where you are desperately needed.

I started this post about Faulkner, which is directly related to why I still respect Jurgo. He was present every week at the grind, and a case could be made that he was the most visible/accessible administrator during his reign. I would watch countless students walk by while he would read his newspaper. Maybe he realized that not many students would talk to him and needed literature to pass the time. Maybe he was interested in being visible, but not speaking with students per se. What cant be taken away from the man is that he was there to speak with. I asked him about Faulkner, about hiring good temporary professors, about his "pub" and rumors that he wanted to change the name of the college to "SMC". We need a president who can inspire legislators to bring this school to its highest level of performance. But lets not forget about Jurgo, and his commitment to creating frequent opportunities for president/student interaction.

I know the high pay checks require high qualifications, but lets make a goal to support a president who will support us. Kelly Smolinsky, Dean Ifill, Rich Edgar... those are just names, but they are all people who I dream about running this school. A last semester senior has the right to dream on 100 days, right?

Everyone drive safe tonight,
<3 - Sami

Monday, February 3, 2014

A False Dillemma

Hey guys! I was invited to respond to the post about my birthday party, and I must say the invite itself erased any negative view of SMCM LOL and Natty Ho. I wanted to put it all out on the table, so if this issue does not tickle your fancy I would save your time and listen to this instead ( I always enjoy a little internet debate, but I do think an anonymous post that used my name directly was a little over the edge. That said, I don't want to bash Natty Ho... he wrote what was on his and another student, "Diablo"'s, minds and that is what blogging is all about. I respect SMCM LOL allot as a blog, and also believe that the conversation Natty Ho has started is important. Instead, I want to divide this rebuttal into 3 sections: Why and how I developed this birthday party, the mistakes that I made in regards to the party, and why I think the article published on my birthday was far from fair. But before all of that, I would like to cite my (very, very intelligent) brother's comment on his Facebook post of Natty Ho's article.

"How rude of you, throwing a party at your own expense and trying to control who comes in. How entitled of you, to try to dictate who enters your own home. You should be required to let everyone come in, regardless of the fact that no one would be able to move."

1. The party: in early December, I had a dream that got to play alongside my brother,  Knoxbox ( a friend and a DC based trap/dubstep artist) and Dillon Francis ( a famous DJ who would never come to SMCM). After much convincing, the dream became real. My birthday was finally on a weekend, and another friend Julian Ragland ( A DC based deep house and UK Bass DJ) coordinated renting speakers. Our house pooled the money together, but it was done so with the knowledge that on a normal Friday, these DJ's would be getting paid instead of playing a free party. Only one issue was left: How could I pull this off without PS shutting it down before 1? I have 0 strikes left, I am a second semester senior, and I am doing TFA next semester. To make a long story short, getting in trouble again would effectively change me from a semi-functional basshead with a plan to a dude who just couldn't hold his shit together months before graduation. So I called them, and for people who have dealt with my shenanigans for 4 years, they were really cool about it. They said that we needed people to regulate the door so that no alcohol left our house, and that the "bouncers" should limit the amount of people coming upstairs to prevent being shutdown. I made it very clear on Facebook that the party started at 9 pm, and anyobody who wanted to see the headlines should make sure to be there for my brother's set (which was both wonderful and underpopulated). Established rules, easy directions... Party time, right?

2. The mistake: Any one who has read an academic journal knows that you have to call out your own limitations, something I believe the blogging world should adopt when claims towards specific people and events are made. I made mistakes, and I made more than one. Firstly, I told everyone that once you had gone inside, re-entry would be easy. I lied, I never developed a system for this, and it led many of my best friends who drove from Montgomery county unable to return after ducking out to smoke a cigg. MY BAD. Secondly, there was no coordination between the bouncers and myself. I went downstairs for one minute and was truly shocked by comments made by people waiting in line. One was particularly dark:  "Fuck you Sami, We were in the same class your sophomore year, I thought we were friends". I don't know who said it, but trust me, we are still friends. I just wanted to turn up on my birthday, but this left me unable to judge when our house was at capacity. MY BAD. Lastly, the bouncers were given no directions other than what PS told me. Once we were at capacity, I told them to go "1 in 1 out" except for my best friends and non-smcm students who traveled here for my Bday. They had to judge who they think I wanted to be inside. They were swung at, cursed at, and were forced to be mean. The only reason they did it was for me, and they did this horrible duty while I had a fantastic time. MY BAD. If you were turned away, just know that many of my best friends were as well. Lastly, I invited to many people to the party. It was invitation only, but I hate exclusivity so I made it so friends could invite other friends. I am warm blooded, and thought people could be happy dancing outside. MY BAD. I now understand that I am an unpredictable party guest, and a much worse party host.  So... one last time: If you are a true fan of Knoxbox/Teszero, if we are good friends, if you were a peer mentoree ( Don't worry...I have special plans for you guys), or if you got treated poorly in anyway... MY BAD. It was pretty wack for Natty Ho to use my name, but it was hard to be overly offended because the truth is I am the one to blame.This brings me to my most important point...

3. The Article published on my birthday: Rule #1... if you don't have a blue checkmark on twitter, and want to post a critique as an anon, DON'T USE FULL NAMES. This is a small school... putting me on blast was far from necessary to start a conversation about bouncers at parties. Research in Psychology suggests how influential first impressions are, and participants who get a negative first impression are oftentimes uninfluenced by a secondary positive impression (Tetlock, 1989). I always have birthdays that disappoint my high expectations, but couldn't you have waited until the day after my Bday? Or maybe asked me for my perspective? Iranians are badddd with guilt, and this just loaded it on in a way that would make my persian grandmother proud. That post made me out to be a bad guy, and made it appear like I believe the term NARP is profane. I am no angel, but lets be clear: I am a NARP, live with 2 other NARP's, and one captain of the soccer team. I had friends from Fraternity's come down, so in that circle I may be considered a GDI. From my (biased) perspective, there were no NARPSGDI's, fratstars or athletes* at the party : It was just one big sweaty love sesh, and I have a feeling that if you enjoyed the music, you probably had an ok time to ( *I do have loads of respect for the athletes on 48 who came out to say happy birthday... that takes mettle). In conclusion, I have an honest request from Natty Ho and Diablo: I am not mad at you guys at all, just mad at the way you chose to write the post. Overpacked parties are no fun and risk getting shutdown. As far as I know, asking for a cover charge is illegal on campus. I wanted a party that everyone who cared had a fair chance to get into. I did not want an invite only event, which in my mind is "party aristocracy" at its worst. Natty Ho, my "hot commodity" would love to open our house for Mardigreens once again, but we were asked to regulate our house for Hollowgreens by PS (we were one of the few house that opened for all). How should we regulate in line with the " StMary's Way?" No hard feelings Natty Ho and Diablo, you guys are welcome at Morsel 2 anytime. Well... I guess that depends how much you pay off the bouncers ;) 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Is St. Mary’s Ready for Bouncers???

Last night, in the midst of tryna to celebr8 and have a good time, many of us got a rude awakening when we were denied from a party at the door. [REDACTED]’s far from private party on the Greens was being monitored by a bouncer(!) In theory, this is kind of a smart idea? I mean, we’ve all seen how fucked up your friend’s (or your own - shout out to Ratchet Fest) house is after a huge throwdown and keeping the number down would probably keep that to a bare minimum. On the other hand, one SMCM student (he states his name as Diablo) says it was just a crappy experience overall. “They were yelling GET BACK! IF YOU SHOVE YOU WON’T GET IN!” and pushing people. It took like an hour to get into the party and it probably kind of sucked. Plus you just felt dumb for standing in line like an idiot.” Well put, Diablo! It is kind of degrading to be told you aren’t cool enough to get into a party. It was mostly about numbers, but it still kind of felt like bullshit to me. Imo bouncers at parties are not the “St. Mary’s Way”*. It goes against our “mission statement”*. To be real, neither are having ACTUAL djs at parties so I guess that kind of makes [REDACTED] and his townhouse a hot commodity, but is it really worth it? ~dignity~ and ~community~ and all that good stuff. Below is a party pic that we took from outside (bc obvi they weren’t going to let a fucking narp like Tommy Seahawk in (haha jk)) so I guess ya’ll can just decide for yourself whether this act of party aristocracy was worth the effort 

- Natty Ho

*Apparently these are things we really care about now like frosh have these memorized(!) is that normal? I have no idea what this really means I just kind of thought they were both like “anything goes!” or “have fun and be urself”